Sunday, 22 November 2020



                    BITA (Banking Institute & TNPSC Academy)


National News

1. PM Modi & Bhutanese PM Jointly launch RuPay Card Phase-II

·         Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering virtually launched RuPay card Phase-II, to allow Bhutanese cardholders to access RuPay network in India.

·         In August 2019, PM Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart jointly launched Phase-I of the project.

·         The implementation of Phase-I of RuPay cards in Bhutan has enabled the visitors from India to access ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals across Bhutan. Phase-II will now allow Bhutanese cardholders to access RuPay network in India.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

·         Bhutan Capital: Thimphu.

·         Bhutan Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum.

2. New building permission system ‘TS-bPASS’ launched in Telangana

·         A new online single window system for sanctioning approvals to new buildings based on self- certification by the applicants was launched in Telangana by Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao.

·         Under the Telangana State Building Permission Approval and Self-Certification System (TS-bPASS), no permission was required for constructing a house in plots area up to 75 square yards and building height up to 7 meters.

·         Instant approval for buildings will be provided for plots of above 75 square yards land and up to 600 square yards land, based on self-certification.

3. Over 50,000 Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centers set up across country

·         Aiming at providing Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) services to the communities closer to their homes, 1.5 lakh Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are to be established by December 2022. 

·         With more than 50,000 having been established, one-third of the target has been met. This has led to improved access to affordable primary healthcare services for more than 25 crore people.

·         Ayushman Bharat was launched in 2018 with its twin pillars of Health & Wellness Centers (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) for full range of services across the continuum of care.

4. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad releases ‘My Stamp on Chhath Puja’

·         Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad released a “My Stamp on Chhath Puja”. My Stamp is an innovative concept initiated by the Department of Posts.

·         Any common person or corporate organisation can now book order and get a personalised photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp.

·         My Stamp on Chhath Puja is available in all Philatelic bureaus and major post offices across the country.  A special cover on the theme ‘Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness ‘was also released.

5. Jannik Sinner Clinches Maiden ATP Tour Title In Sofia

·         Italian teenager Jannik Sinner has become the youngest man to capture an ATP Tour title in more than 12 years after his title win at the Sofia Open.

·         Sinner defeated Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the summit clash to win his first ATP title. Pospisil was also attempting to capture his first ATP Tour crown.

·         The last player to have lifted a tour-level trophy at a younger age than Sinner was Kei Nishikori who had earned his maiden ATP Tour title as an 18-year-old at the 2008 Delray Beach Open


6. Sports activities organized under Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in J&K

·         The ICDS department in collaboration with District Youth Services and Sports department organized sports activities under Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) in Jammu and Kashmir. During the programme, various sports activities like Cricket, Tug of War and Badminton were organised in which over 200 girls participated.

Economy News

7. Oxford Economics revises downwards its India growth forecast

·         Forecasting firm Oxford Economics predicts that India’s post-COVID-19 scars could be among the worst in the world.

·         It expects India’s growth equilibrium to worsen substantially over the medium term, with potential growth averaging just 4.5% over 2020-2025, from its pre-pandemic projection of 6.5%.

·         The fiscal deficit is also expected to widen 7% of GDP in 2020-21.

Awards News

8. Scottish Author Douglas Stuart wins 2020 Booker Prize

·         Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has won the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction.

·         He has been awarded for his debut novel, “Shuggie Bain”. The 44-year-old Stuart is only the second Scot to have won the prestigious literary prize.

·         The Booker Prize for Fiction, (formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize (1969–2001) and the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019)), is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. It carries £50,000 prize ($66,000).

9. North Police Station in Kohima receives ISO certification

·         The North Police Station in Kohima was awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification for Quality Management System.

·         It is the first government agency of the state that has received such recognition.

·         The ISO certificate helps to ensure that the police personnel routinely evaluates its working and implement remedial measures, as and when required.

·         The entire process of certification was completed within 30 days and was initiated by the Kohima Police.

·         The process involves an online application, documentation, upgrading the existing facilities, online auditing and other elements.

·         Kohima police informed that their sole motive was to improve the quality of public service and to create a more visitor-friendly environment.

·         To meet the specified parameters, the police station streamlined the process of character/passport verification and the system of filing and record keeping.

·         It further upgraded the infrastructure of the police station and disposal of various complaints have been made time-bound.

Defence News

10. 30th India-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)

·         The 30th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) was held between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy.

·         The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette and Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies participated in the CORPAT.

·         The two navies have been carrying out CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line twice a year since 2005 to enhance bilateral ties and maritime cooperation.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

·         Prime Minister of Thailand: Prayut Chan-o-cha.

·         Thailand Capital: Bangkok.

·         Thailand Currency: Thai baht.

Agreements News

11. GoI & NDB sign MoU for USD 500 Million for Public Transport System in NCR

·         The Government of India and the New Development Bank(NDB) have signed a loan agreement for lending USD 500 million for the ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project’.

·         This Regional Rapid Transit System provide fast, reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system in the National Capital Region (NCR).

·         The fast transit system will support in achieving the goal of sustainable urban development in the NCR region including the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

·         The environment friendly and very low emission RRTS will carry many times more people at high speed (average speed 100 kmph) while occupying just 3 m space on land thus reducing congestion on the roads.

·         Seamless high-speed connectivity will result in balanced economic development across the Region leading to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening at one place.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

·         New Development Bank Headquarters location: Shanghai, China.

·         President of the New Development Bank: Marcos Troyjo.

Important Days

12. World Fisheries Day: 21 November

·         World Fisheries Day is celebrated on 21 November every year throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities.

·         It highlights the importance of healthy oceans ecosystems and to ensure sustainable stocks of fisheries in the world.

·         2020 is the fourth World Fisheries Day. The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water.

·         Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean. Fishing communities worldwide celebrate this day through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, dramas, exhibition, music show, and demonstrations to highlight the importance of maintaining the world’s fisheries.

13. World Television Day: 21 November

·         World Television Day is observed on 21 November every year. The day is observed to acknowledge the role of broadcast media.

·         On this day, the journalists, writers, bloggers, and others who are associated with the medium promote the role of television in communication and globalization.

·         The 21 November was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1996, because the first World Television Forum was held in 1996.

14. National Newborn Week 2020

·         In India, the National Newborn Week 2020 is observed every year from 15 to 21 November.

·         Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan has chaired an event to mark the National Newborn Week 2020.

·         The main purpose of the week is to reinforce the importance of newborn health as a key priority area of the health sector and reduce the infant mortality rate by improving healthcare conditions for babies in the neonatal period.

·         The theme of National Newborn Week 2020 is ‘Quality, Equity, Dignity for every newborn at every health facility and everywhere’.

Miscellaneous News

15. Mastercard & USAID Partners to launch “Project Kirana”

·         Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have collaborated under Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) to launch ‘Project Kirana’ in India, to help women entrepreneurs grow and thrive.

·         Project Kirana is a two-year programme, and initially, it will be rolled out in select cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi. The programme will be implemented by DAI Digital Frontiers and ACCESS Development Services.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

·         Mastercard Headquarters: New York, United States.

·         Mastercard President: Michael Miebach.

·         Mastercard Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Ajay Banga(Michael Miebach will take over as CEO by January 2021).


16. ADB Allocates $20 Million to help developing members access vaccines for COVID-19

·         The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $20.3 million in technical assistance tohelp its developing members access vaccines for Covid-19 and establish systemsto enable equitable and efficient vaccine distribution.

·         The funds will be available for ADB developing members to support vaccine-related health system assessments and the development of country readiness plans to strengthen the capacity to access, introduce, deploy, deliver, and monitor vaccines safely and effectively, the multilateral funding agency.

Banking News

17. RBI becomes first central bank in the world to reach 1 mn followers on Twitter

·         The Reserve Bank of India has reached one million followers on Twitter. With this, the central bank of India is now the first-ever such bank in the world to have reached these many followers in the micro-blogging site.

·         RBI has beaten the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank on Twitter by emerging as the most popular central bank on Twitter. In the current financial year, as many as 2.5 lakh new followers joined RBI handle.

18.RBI fines PNB, Sodexo, PhonePe for flouting regulatory norms

·         The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of over 5.78 crore on six entities including Punjab National Bank Ltd (PNB), PhonePe Pvt. Ltd and Sodexo SVC India Pvt. Ltd for non-compliance of regulatory guidelines.

·         The central bank has imposed a penalty of over 5.78 crore on six entities. Sodexo has been slapped with the highest fine of 2 crore followed by PhonePe, which has been fined 1.39 crore.

19. RBL Bank selects Amazon Web Services to drive digital transformation

·         RBL Bank has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud service to drive digital transformation. At present, around 40 per cent of the bank’s mission-critical applications are on the cloud.

·         The bank first migrated its corporate website to AWS cloud and with the experience gained initiated a 10-in-10 project (a complete migration of 10 applications in 10 days).

·         The bank chose AWS for its commitment to security and highly reliable global infrastructure.

20. ICICI Bank partners Pine Labs to unveil ‘Cardless EMI’

·         Private lender ICICI Bank has launched a fully digital mode of payment at leading retail stores. Titled as ‘ICICI Bank Cardless EMI’ (Equated Monthly Instalments), the facility will help lakhs of its pre-approved customers in buying their favourite gadgets or home appliances with the help of their mobile phone and PAN.

·         ICICI Bank is the first lender in India to introduce a fully digital, cardless EMI facility at retail stores.

·         For this facility the bank joined hands with Pine Labs, merchant commerce platform, to offer this facility across pan-India outlets of leading retailers namely Croma, Reliance Digital, My Jio Stores and Sangeetha Mobiles.

·         Buyers can simply convert the high-value transactions into easy, no-cost monthly instalments by furnishing their registered mobile number, PAN and OTP (received on mobile number) on the PoS machine at the retail outlets.


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